Behind-the-Scenes Profile: Cathy Giffi, Director of Marketing at Sundance Institute

Explain what you do for the Sundance institute in 50 words or less.
I direct the marketing strategy for the Sundance Institute – that’s everything from media partnerships to advertising to eblasts to social networking for the Sundance Film Festival and our year-round programming for local Utahns. During Festival, that extends to include our publication distribution and ad sales.  I also oversee surveying and web analytics for the Institute.

What would most people be surprised to know about Sundance?
The Sundance Institute is a non-profit, and everyone I work with is here because we believe in great storytelling.  It’s not the Sundance Channel — but they do show great movies.  And it’s not the Sundance Catalog — but they do have great sweaters.  We’re the little guys who put on the big festival and the filmmaking and theatre labs each year.

What’s the once place everyone should visit in Park City?
Well, I’m a huge music fan, and there are loads of offerings at the Festival…but my favorite space is actually the New Frontier. It’s the one place where I guarantee you will see something unforgettable.  Last year I saw these tree projections done by Jennifer Steinkamp that I still can’t get over — what technology can do for the art world, and vice versa, is incredible. This year I’m anxious to see Lynette Wallworth’s work Evolution of Fearlessness, where participants will be able to hear and interact with stories of women who have survived war zones in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, and El Salvador.

If you had one piece of advice for filmmakers attending the festival for the first time, what would it be?
Lean on the staff of the Institute — we’re here to help you get your voice heard.  And we always will be — welcome to the Posse!

What’s your favorite Robert Redford flick?
The Great Gatsby

What is the best way to keep updated on Sundance?
Sign up for our email newsletter — that’s the best way to stay in the know about all things Sundance. In fact — why don’t you do that now? And rest easy — we won’t share your contact information with anyone else.